Game University: Eleminis
There are so many ways we find new items to carry at our stores. We go to conventions. Toy representatives will stop by with catalogs and demos. Customers will tip us off to something they played and loved. We also scour newspapers, websites and anywhere else we can read about something new and exciting.
I am not sure where I first saw the card game Eleminis, but I had a gut feeling we would not only love it, but our customers would too. So I tracked down the manufacturer, placed an opening order and received the shipment in a few days, hoping people might like it. After one week, we sold out.
Eleminis is a wonderful take on Rock, Paper, Scissors. There are 5 Elements (Air, Plant, Rock, Fire and Water) The goal of the game is to be the first player to collect all five of the Eleminis. Game play is simple, but the strategy is endless.
To start, the first player takes a card from the pile, showing it to everyone, and places it either in front of himself or in front of another player. Ideally, when he places the card in front of himself it will help get him get closer to the five Eliminis he needs. If he is placing it in front of an opponent, he will be strategically slowing down the opponent from getting all five.
In addition to the five Eleminis cards, there are also other strategy cards that will affect game play: Discard, Reverse, Swap, Trash (which is tough to get rid of) and Star (which is a wild card that can represent any Elemini).
Each player has only five slots in front of herself that she can use. So if other players fill your slots with Eleminis or Trash you don’t need, you have to get rid of them in order to end up with only one of each of the five Eleminis. To do this, each Elemini has the power to eliminate two other types of cards (to make it easy to remember, each Elemini card shows the two other cards it can beat). For example, the Water card can conquer Rock and Fire. Rock can conquer Fire and Plant, etc. Using their powers, you can switch out cards you don’t need, or fill up your opponents' slots with cards that will prevent them from winning. The image above gives you an idea of what a setup would look like for a four-player game.
In an email exchange with the game's creator, Matthew Laird, I learned the evolution of the game took some twists and turns during development. Laird had the basic premise of the game outlined some time ago, but detoured when he decided to test the concept as an iPhone App. Not being fully satisfied with Eleminis as a puzzle on the mobile platform, he started working again to make it a traditional card game. After some input and some back and forth with his brothers who helped add some of the gameplay cards, the game was finalized and introduced at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair in late 2010.
Eleminis is a game for 2 to 8 players and only takes about 10 minutes to play. Stop by either aMuse Toys location and play a round with us!